Owls and Tuis are Not Morning Birds


I’m back!  I spent the week in New York and New Jersey, talked to eight different groups of kids and met (er, sort of) about 300 ridiculously smart, awesome readers (especially you. Yes, you. You were the smartest.).  🙂

And now I feel kind of like Sam Gamgee when he gets home to the Shire after dragging Frodo all the way to Mordor and back and he can finally put on his pyjamas and flop down on the couch with his true love and his little dog and his DVR, all of whom he missed very much.

(Well, OK.  Possibly hobbits don’t have DVR.  Possibly a society that gets that excited about fireworks has fairly limited entertainment alternatives.)

But still!  Oh my goodness!  You know how I thought I didn’t have the courage to be a teacher?  Turns out what I would really need is stamina.  My HEAVENS.  I think it maybe would be literally physically impossible for me to get up that early every day AND dress nicely AND remember everyone’s names AND educate the young minds of America.  So hard! 

I couldn’t even stay awake back when I was the one just taking the classes.  Remember, this “school” thing tends to take place during my natural sleeping hours.  It would be like asking an owl or a bat to get up at 6:30am every morning and then catch its own breakfast and teach little owls to fly straight for the next eight hours.  All in tidy button-down shirts and dressy pants! Impossible!

The school visits were really fun for a week, though.  Everyone asked fantastic questions!  And I appreciated how lots of you went “awwwww” when I put up the slide of Sunshine, since that’s pretty much my reaction every time I look at her. 😉

Sunshine - May08 - 1
Awwwwwwwwwwww. I mean really.

Incidentally, she’s excited because it’s finally sunny and pretty outside, and now we’re doing outdoor agility training! 

Sunshine - May08 - 2
Bring.  It.  On. 

Eeeeek! Learning to focus on hurdles and poles and A-frames and tunnels instead of dastardly squirrels and leaves! Too exciting!

OK, sorry, enough dog — time for some writing-related photos!
Cavallini Visit2
Here I am talking to sixth graders at Cavallini Middle School, which has the coolest library and the nicest library staff and the most impressive technology—how amazing is that screen? And they set up a traveling wireless mouse so I could click through my presentation from anywhere!  Holy smokes!  Plus all the students were fantabulous.  And check out my Table o’ Books.  :-)  Yay Cavallini!

Hillside Visit1  

This was the next day; here I’m talking to third graders at Hillside Elementary School.  I wish I could have answered everyone’s questions!  They were all SUCH good questions!  I’m reading from Who Was Harry Houdini? in this photo.  I ran into Houdini experts everywhere…yay Houdini fans!

Then I also talked to 7th and 8th graders at Hackley, which is a ridonkulously cool school—it almost made me want to go back to 8th grade, for lockers and lunch hour and new notebooks every September and memorizing the cute boy’s schedule so you can pass him in the hall…not that I ever did that, or anything.  ;-)  But then I remembered I’d have to get up in the morning and I’d have to do homework instead of watching How I Met Your Mother, so I decided I’m OK with being a grown-up instead.

And then I met with a troop of Girl Scouts in Ridgewood (YAY Girl Scouts!), which was awesome.  As I’ve probably mentioned before, I was a Girl Scout for nine years, so I think they’re pretty much the coolest girls around.  🙂

I’m thinking what I should do is write down some of the best questions and my answers, especially the ones I got a couple of times, in case you guys out there are wondering these things too.  I’m not sure where an FAQ section should go on this site, but I will ponder upon it. 

For instance, "what is my favorite of the books I’ve written?"  Awesome question, although I’m afraid my answer sounds like something a politician would say.  But it’s true!  My favorite book is always the last one I’ve written, or the next one I’m writing.  I like shiny shiny new things.  So I’m all in love with Save the Date and Avatars 3 right now, but ask me in a couple of months and it’ll probably be Pet Trouble 1 and Never Bite a Boy on the First Date (coming to a bookstore near you next year!  eeek!  hooray!).

I also liked being asked about what I read, which made me realize that this site is seriously lacking a Favorite Books list.  I mean, I have about a million Favorite Books, so the least I can do is write them down somewhere, right?  In case anyone is interested.  :-) 

So I will do that, which means now I have more projects, but FIRST!  I have a manuscript to finish!  Due imminently!  Seriously sidetracked by my traveling adventures!  Since, as it turns out, I can’t do anything after two hours of talking to students except sleep for the rest of the day.  My WORD, I’d be useless in a real job.  I appreciate you, teachers!  I hope you get lots of sleep in the summer!

And thanks again to everyone who I met last week, especially all of you with the awesometastic questions!  :-)  I hope I’ll get to do lots more visits like that, and that all the kids I meet are as smart and interesting as you (yes, you, specifically).  🙂

Quote of the Day:  An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward. — F. Scott Fitzgerald